Herbst, brother-in-law settle lawsuit

The decision by Travelers Insurance to settle a lawsuit between former First Selectman Tim Herbst and Jesse Jablon, Herbst’s brother-in-law, cost town taxpayers $25,000, the amount of the deductible in the town’s insurance policy. Jablon had sued Herbst in 2016, claiming that he was fired from his town job in December 2013 solely because he was dating Herbst’s sister. Jablon also claimed that Herbst sabotaged his job search and told a supervisor at Enterprise Car Sales that Jablon was a drug dealer in an effort to get him fired.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said the decision to settle the lawsuit was made by the insurance company, and that the town was obligated to pay.

“I don’t believe the taxpayers should be footing the bill in a family dispute, but we are contractually obligated to do it,” she said.

According to Jablon’s lawsuit, then First Selectman Herbst appointed him temporary chief administrative officer on Aug. 26, 2013, and fired him Dec. 7 of that year. Jablon also alleged that on Dec. 11, 2013, Herbst told him he would make every effort to prevent him gaining future employment.

Herbst opted not to run for re-election in 2017 to focus on his run for governor. Herbst campaign manager Jon Conradi issued a statement saying Herbst had taken action to prevent a potentially unethical situation from developing.

“Tim stood by his zero tolerance policy for inappropriate relationships in the workplace, even when it involved his own family and when it would have been personally and politically easier to look the other way,” Conradi said. “When faced with frivolous lawsuits, insurance companies often elect to settle rather than incur the cost of litigation. In this case the insurance company decided it was more cost-effective to settle rather than litigate the baseless charges.”